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1. Introduction

2. Luminous Night

3. Hungry Spirits

4. Husk

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2.03 - Deliverance

Awake - Hungry Spirits

All of these works are oil on linen and measure roughly 2x1.5m. In this series, there is a crowd scene below, but the occurrence takes place above our heads, illuminated by a light that penetrates the surface of things. This is a night light that permeates earth like meltdown, so that our heads seem to sparkle like radiant gemstones and become a seed bed upon which foraging entities tread.

Our oblivious skulls are seen through the eyes of these figures, staggering startled through their waking dreams. I imagined a mass of human population seen this way, our heads extending back into a deep space. The activity above us takes place as if in a theatre, for which we become the stage rather than an audience.

Nutrients are extracted from the blossoming of nocturnal growth. This growth is seeded in futility, yet it persists in being borne up from the sad decay of material that surrounds us.

Our heads are husks, left behind by simple thoughts of upward intention. They are dry seeds, yet they emit pollinated spores, ghost palms and eye flowers. Some of the seeds and plant forms seem to develop facial features as they emanate upwards, encoded with the conscious imprint from which they sprout.

 

This is all imagined growth that may go untended by us but is useful in nourishing the body of the hungry spirit. In some images animals emerge or are gathered by the interdimensional beings who share this wild place.

There were precedents for the large standing figures within this series in works such as The Final Bloom of the Ice Rose. When I depict a figure that relates to the actual scale of the body, it somehow seems as if that depiction has been extracted from the body itself—like a luminous shadow projected upon the surface. In depicting the form of a body within a painted space, it is as if the paint becomes a literal skin, a cladding for the body of a spirit that resides in another realm.

 

 

    

Some of the bright impasto marks within these works were applied with a monoprint technique. I produced the images of the standing figures by drawing with extruded oil paint upon other surfaces, and then printed these marks upon the canvas. This was a way of allowing the presence of the spirit figures to 'suddenly appear', so their arrival within the pictorial space seemed imposed upon our perceptive reality or detached from their own.

  

 

    

 

These paintings were developed in groups, in stages, over a few years.

Works of this nature sometimes go untended for periods of time, as I slowly absorb their presence without giving them my full attention.

In this way I am able to make decisions without being fully conscious of doing so.

At times during the making of this series, I felt more like a gardener at work, as I tended daily to the slow, steady growth of the plant forms across a range of surfaces.

The figures depicted throughout the surrounding paintings seemed to reflect my own attendance to the work at hand.

 

In ‘Poachers Retire’, I depicted the shelter that shades of our subconscious might inhabit within the higher realm above our heads.

I imagined an alternative wild state with its own laws of nature.

The beings who dwell here operate by their own rules and survive however they can. The notion of a basic structure that has been created from resources gathered from the wild was described in Depot—Animal Magician's Hut.

 

 

 

Explore this theme

1. Introduction

2. Luminous Night 

3. Hungry Spirits (You Are Here)

4. Husk